Han Wo experienced the fall of the Tang Dynasty and lived on into the succeeding troubled period of warring states.
Han Wo (韓偓, c.842–844 – c.923) was born in Wannian, Jingzhao (modern-day Xi’an, Shaanxi Province). He was related by marriage to the poet and politician Li Shangyin, who is sometimes referred to as his “uncle”. After reading one of Han Wo’s poems written at an early age, the older Li Shangyin supposedly said of him, “The young phoenix rises from the old.”
In 889, he passed the imperial examination, becoming a scholar at the Hanlin Academy, who performed minor secretarial duties. Eventually, he would becoming Vice-Minister of Defense for the Emperor Zhaozong, working against the influence of the eunuchs. Following Zhaozong’s assassination in 904, the Tang Dynasty collapsed.
Han Wo was exiled to Pu Prefecture in Henan Province. He died around 923.